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Listeria monocytogenes is a food borne pathogen that is capable of causing the disease listeriosis typically in the elderly, pregnant women, or immunocompromised people. It has a relatively high death rate in the U.S. compared to other foodborne pathogens--about 1 in 5 cases ends in death. The bacterium is an intracellular pathogen, which means it requires entrance into a host cell to carry out its pathogenic activity, grow, and spread. To do this, it must cross the mucosal barrier of the intestinal lining. Through a series of various protocols, this study primarily investigates how anaerobic conditions and short chain fatty acids such as propionate, to which we know Listeria is regularly exposed in the gut, affect the bacterium’s ability to interact with the mucosal barrier. In addition, this study also contributes an understanding of how the disease should be addressed ethically in the U.S. today.

Publication Date

4-24-2019

Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Jana M Bennett, Yvonne Y Sun

Primary Advisor's Department

Biology

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Stander Symposium poster

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Presenter: Katie Lynn Breitenbach

The Effects of Propionate on the Interactions of Listeria monocytogenes with the Mucosal Barrier

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